Keeping Our Eye on Rami

Here are five facts about Rami Malek that you need to know (but you probably already do)

Rami Malek is the first Arab to win a Golden Globe for Best Actor since Omar Sharif in 1966.

By Staff Reporter

Culture 14 January 2019

If you’re yet to see Rami Malek’s outstanding portrayal of Queen legendary front man Freddie Mercury in the film Bohemian Rhapsody then what are you doing with your life? The film is brilliant and Rami’s performance is outstanding. So, it’s no surprise (yet still thrilling) that he was nominated and then won the best actor category in the recent Golden Globe Awards.

The last Arab actor to have won a Golden Globe in that category is of course the legendary Omar Sharif who won his third Globe in 1966, for his role in Doctor Zhivago. To be clear – Egyptian Rami Malek winning is a big deal.

Even before his critically acclaimed performance and his big win, people were already taking notice of Rami. But what do we know about him? Quite a lot it seems. Here are five facts you should know about Golden Globe (and hopefully soon to be Academy Award) winner Rami Malek.

Heritage & Family

Rami Malek and his twin brother Sami

Rami was born on May 12, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to a family of Egyptian Coptic and Greek-Egyptian descent. His late father was a tour guide in Cairo who later sold insurance while his mother works as an accountant. Rami has an identical twin brother named Sami, who is younger by four minutes, and works as a teacher. He also has an older sister, Yasmine, who works as a medical doctor.

Acting Start

After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2003 from the University of Evansville in Evansville, Rami started his acting career with a guest-starring role in the hugely popular series Gilmore Girls. He had a number of roles following that in films such as Night at the Museum(where he played an Egyptian Pharaoh), starring in two episodes the Steven Bochco war drama Over There, the mini-series The Pacific, and he even played an Egyptian Vampire in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2.

That Voice

In case you haven’t noticed, Rami has a really distinctive voice (some might even call it sexy). Perhaps you’ve heard it before? Rami lent his voice to the massive video game Halo 2 in 2004 and then again in 2015 he voices Tahno and Josh Washington in The Legend of Koreaand Until Dawn.

From Rami to Freddie

Rami started to get mainstream attention in 2015 when he landed the lead role of Elliot Alderson in the critically acclaimed USA Network television series Mr. Robot. Rami was nominated seven times in 2016, for his portrayal of the young, anti-social computer programmer and won twice – Best Actor in a Drama Series at the Critics’ Choice Television Award and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

Hitting Mainstream

Did you know that initially, Sacha Baron Cohen was set to play Freddie Mercury on the biopic? But after some creative disagreements Sacha left the project (sounds like he left on a sour note actually) and Rami was welcomed on board. For his transformation into Rami didn’t only wear a set of fake teeth but he also moved to London months before shooting and worked with a vocal coach. The film mostly uses Queen recordings and a Freddie Mercury sound alike but you can hear Rami’s vocals in the a cappella performances.

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